Diabetes can be controlled with diabetic diet, exercise, and medication. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you may be looking for information about diabetic diet and/or diabetic menus.
Diabetic diets must limit, not eliminate, carbohydrates. Most diabetics can consume 50% of their calories from carbohydrates each day. They must eat at regular intervals and avoid all sugar- sweetened beverages such as sweet tea and regular soda.
Carbohydrate is an essential nutrient that is an excellent source of energy for the body. It is the preferred fuel for the brain and nervous system. All carbohydrates increase blood sugar levels.
Carbohydrate is found in two forms: starch and sugar. Starch (complex carbohydrate) is found in foods such as bread, cereal, grains, pasta, rice, flour, legumes, and vegetables such as beets, peas, corn, and potatoes. Sugar (simple sugar) is found in foods such as fruit, fruit juice, milk, honey, desserts, and candy.
People with diabetes will develop high blood sugar, when they consume too many carbohydrates in a short time. The goal is to make sure your diabetic diet contains the correct amounts of carbohydrate for each meal or snack.
If you do not know how much carbohydrate you should consume for each meal, your physician can refer you to a registered dietitian, who can calculate your calorie and carbohydrate needs. By learning carbohydrate counting, you can plan a diabetic menu using foods you like best.
Meat, chicken, fish, eggs, and cheese do not contain carbohydrate, unless they are breaded. Fats such as butter, margarine, and sour cream contain very little carbohydrate. Vegetables such as lettuce, green beans, tomatoes, broccoli, cucumbers, and celery contain very little carbohydrate.
Diabetics can consume regular foods such as potatoes and desserts, if they do not exceed their carbohydrate limits.
Most adult women need at least 1200 calories/day and about 45 grams of carbohydrate/meal. Most adult men need at least 1500 calories/day and about 60 grams carbohydrate/meal.
Make your own diabetic menu using the examples of food combinations that provide 45, 60, and 75 grams carbohydrate on the right side of this page. If the combination you require does not already include lean meat, poultry, or fish, a serving may be added.